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News Report Page 12 of 12
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Is access to University under threat?

WITH the move by the UK Government to push to create a "high-skill, high-wage economy," you would expect to make access to course-related facilities and equipment affordable to more, not less. As we hear that students enrolling in 2023-24 courses will now face paying off student loans, after graduation, well into their 60's, we have also hear that student potentially face another issue. The government has begun a consultation over minimum eligibility requirements for English students to receive loans immediately after leaving school. The Department for Education's consultation suggests achieving 2 grade E's at A-level or equivalents as possible option. Another option on the table is requiring English students to achieving grade 4 passes, in GCSE maths and English. As with many employment and educational options, yet again the biggest winner will be the Treasury, which is estimated to gain an additional ₤600m in loan repayments. On our Twitter account we raised the question about how the new rules over those with educational learning disabilities, such as dyslexia and dyscalculia? Asking, if this would be discrimination, if those who can do a degree, but can't get GCSE in English or Maths, yet able to do the course would find themselves unable to get the finances they require, especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds. We also added a Poll, asking:- "Do you think students heading to a University should be excluded from applying if they don't have English and Maths GCSEs, or 2 Alevels at grade E, by blocking them from qualifying for a student loans within England; plus putting a cap on places offered by Universities...?"

The response was as follows:-

Yes! - 46.7%

No... - 46.7%

Don't know... 6.7%

Don't care... 0%

So what are your thoughts on this? Please email us to:- News24@SouthportReporter.Com.

UK sees the sharpest manufacturing price growth since 1976 according to CBI

UK manufacturing output growth picked up in the 3 months to February 2022, but the balance of manufacturers expecting price rises in the next 3 months was at its highest since December 1976. That's according to the latest monthly CBI Industrial Trends Survey, based on responses from 224 manufacturing firms.

The balance of manufacturers who expect price rises in the next 3 months rose to the highest since December 1976 (+77% in February 2022, +78% in December 1976).

Growth in output volumes accelerated in the 3 months to February compared with the same period 1 month earlier (+26% from +14%). Output increased in 13 out of 17 sectors, with growth driven by the chemicals and food, drink and tobacco sub-sectors.

Total order books were strong in February (+20%, from +24% in January), while export order books improved slightly and remained above their long-run average (-7%, from -10% in January; an average of -19%).

Stocks of finished goods were seen as inadequate again in February, but with some improvement shown for the 2nd consecutive month (-14% from -17%).

Anna Leach, CBI Deputy Chief Economist said:- "Manufacturers will be buoyed by strong order books and output growth, but amid ongoing cost pressures, almost 4 in 5 firms expect to increase prices in the next 3 months. With high inflation dampening growth prospects in the wider economy, the Government must use the Spring Statement to help get businesses investing more, supporting higher growth, productivity and wages. That should start with a permanent Investment Deduction as a successor to the Super Deduction, which ends next year."

Tom Crotty, Group Director at INEOS and Chair of the CBI Manufacturing Council, said:- "It is great to see that total order books remained strong in February and that output volumes grew more quickly than in last month's survey, increasing in 13 out of 17 sectors. But with rising prices and inadequate stocks of finished goods, the cost of living crunch continues to bite across the sector, alongside continuing global energy and supply chain challenges. While the Government must continue to address these shorter-term challenges, it must also look ahead and focus on productivity. For instance, with a future-focused approach to skills and regulation and an industrial strategy that instils confidence in manufacturers."


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